Arabisation: Senate approves bill making Arabic compulsory in Islamabad schools

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday approved the Compulsory Teaching of the Arabic Language Bill, 2020, aimed at making the teaching of Arabic mandatory in all public and private educational institutions in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

As per the bill, Arabic will be taught in schools in Islamabad from grades 1-5, while Arabic grammar will be taught in grades 6-12.

The statement of objects and reasons attached to the bill stated that “besides having religious importance for Muslims, Arabic is among the five largest spoken languages of the world. A large number of population from around the world seeks to do business and employment in the rich Arab states. Thus, knowledge of Arabic language will not only enlighten the understanding of Islam and the message of Holy Quran, it will also broaden the employment and business opportunities for the citizens of Pakistan as well.”

The bill, which is to be implemented within a period of six months, was presented by PML-N senator Javed Abbasi and approved by all lawmakers, except Raza Rabbani of the PPP who gave a dissenting note, saying that such moves would impact Pakistan’s multicultural diversity.

“We would not go through the problems we are currently facing if we understood the Holy Qur’an,” Abbasi said on the floor of the senate while arguing for the bill.

Arabic, the official language of over 25 countries, would open up more job opportunities for Pakistanis in the Middle East and lead to lower unemployment and increased remittances, the senator said.

Abdullah Zahid

Abdullah Zahid is TPD's correspondent in Karachi. He reports on Pakistani political affairs.

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